Over the last few decades, training in yoga has exploded in the North American market. Classes of every size and description can be found on almost any block in every major city. Yoga Teacher Training has become a common topic of discussion for all ages and all walks of life.
Yoga wear has become the new casual wear, and Sanskrit tattoos are taking the place of the tweety bird. It is this rapid growth in the health and wellness market that is leading to dramatic diversification in content and concepts.
Has Yoga class diversity hurt the industry?
Hybrid classes like Hypno-yoga, aerial yoga, acro-yoga, yes, even goat-yoga can be found in your local neighbourhood without much of a google search. But as with all things in the western marketplace, diversity and availability, breeds fickleness. With so much to choose from, what is the right choice?
As a once spiritual practice becomes mass-marketed, and classes become more gimmick-driven, novelty replaces effectiveness. Yes of course there are still amazing classes and many amazing teachers in the industry, but as that industry becomes supersaturated with “SHLOCK”, finding a true “yogi” to learn from is getting harder and harder.
As people continue to search for the latest way to heal their mind and body, once again people are turning their attention to ancient eastern traditions. Only this time it’s China.
Enter ……. Qigong
How does Qigong work?
Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) has been used in China for thousands of years as a powerfully healing-moving meditation. It combines soft flowing bodyweight movements, with long slow diaphragmatic breaths and specific visualizations.
The design is to stimulate the acupuncture meridians and their associated organs, while it improves digestive function as well as mental focus and emotional balance. As Qigong can be performed standing or sitting(seated qigong for seniors), it lends itself to all fitness levels, walks of life and all ages.
In China, over 100 million people do Qigong daily. The trouble is there are just not that many people teaching it here.…. just yet! Qigong is poised to take the stage as the “New Yoga” in the coming years.
Until quite recently, most people’s contact with Qigong was randomly coming across a group of people in the park moving in unison like a flock of birds but were too shy to join in. Now more and more Classes are popping up in yoga studios.
There are already thousands of styles of Qigong, Taiji being one of the most well-known. But it is Medical Qigong, with its focus on internal healing that could very easily become the new “goto” for people looking to heal their pain-filled minds and bodies.
Is Qigong the new Yoga?
It’s like a gentle, slow-moving dance that takes your joints through large ranges of motion, works every muscle in your body, stimulates respiration and digestion, while it heals your mind. Who could ask for more???
It is Qigong’s dynamic body movement that distinguishes it from the stationary postures of yoga. It leads people to reconnect to their inner child that used to skip and play in the park. It fills you with a healing joy that only movement can create. All that being said, only time will tell if Qigong is the new yoga or a new mode of healing altogether.
…Keep an eye on the horizon Yogis, Qigong is coming!
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